The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was enacted to operationalize the DOD-Frank consumer protection Act of 2010 together with several other financial laws.
The CFPB laws work for any covered person – an entity or individual offering consumer financial products or services.
The act is designed to prohibit any covered person or entity from engaging or getting involved in abusive or unlawful practices.
Below are some of the things that fall under the definition of a financial product/service:
• Provision of credit facilities to the public
• Offering deposit-taking activities
• Providing, selling or issuing stored value
• Offering financial data processing services or products
• Provision of certain types of real estate services
• Collection of debts on behalf of any related consumer service or product
• Offering financial advisory services
What are civil investigation demands (CIDs)?
These are tools used by federal and state investigation agencies to gather information that can be used to prosecute doctors, business owners, Chief Executive Officers for violating certain regulations.
In case you are served with civil investigation demand, it is important to respond carefully in order to avoid exposing yourself to uncalled liability and risks. The best way to do this is through an experienced and competent lawyer in civil litigation.
Federal governments have different tools when it comes to investigating suspected fraud, unfair practices and deception in various sectors of the economy.
A civil investigative demand is a form of a subpoena that investigators can use to acquire evidence from witnesses the accused person and witnesses.
Civil investigative demands are commonly used by federal and state governments to compel individuals to provide necessary information to prosecute various cases. Although CIDs are usually given directly to people facing charges, any other entity or business with information can be issued with one.
Legal representation for responding to CID
In the event that you have been served with civil investigation demand, you should immediately contact a lawyer to help you respond appropriately. There are a lot of experienced lawyers who deal with all manner of civil investigations.
It might be an issue relating alleged violation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau laws, healthcare fraud allegation, investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Justice among others – you won’t fail to get a lawyer who has already handled similar cases.
It is important to note that legal requirements at federal and state levels differ. Besides, every investigative agency has its own protocols, rules, and procedures for conducting its investigation.
Most law firms have experience in representing clients from different fields. You should however ensure that they understand your business and the probable cause for the civil investigative demand.
Another advantage of most law firms is that they have lawyers who have previously worked in different federal and state government’s investigation agencies. This gives them an upper hand when it comes to responding to CIDs.
Can one challenge a civil investigative demand?
Yes, it is possible to challenge a civil investigative demand – although in limited situations. The United States Courts usually confer powers to investigating agencies depending on the scope and seriousness of the matter under investigation.
This means that if anyone wants to successfully challenge a civil investigative demand, they must prove beyond doubt that an investigating agency has acted unlawfully in issuing the civil investigative demand.
The courts will only consider a challenge for a CID under the following circumstances:
• If the demand is requesting the production of documents that are not relevant to the investigations.
• If the demand will lead to “undue burden” to the person being requested
• If the recipient of the CID proves that the agency has abused the judicial process
• In case the demand is seeking information or documents that are already in the hands of the investigators.
Common reasons why federal and state agencies issue civil investigative demands
This is an agency with the authority of enforcing laws meant to protect consumers in the financial sector
The Department of Justice and the Financial Trade Commission frequently use CID when conducting anti-trust investigations.
Both federal and state investigators often use civil investigative demands to acquire crucial information for prosecution.
In general, any person or business can get a civil investigative demand. What is important is to hire a lawyer who will help you to respond effectively.
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